- A fire broke out at near the Gare de Lyon Train Station in Paris, France amid a concert protest.
- An eyewitness told Insider he was inside the train station, smelled smoke, and saw people running toward exits.
- In a series to tweets about the fire, police blasted “unacceptable abuses committed on the margins of a concert.”
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A fire broke out near the Gare de Lyon Train Station in Paris Friday, local police alerted the public through Twitter.
While it was contained by firefighters, authorities urge the public to avoid the area as evacuations at the major Paris train station were still underway.
Speculation that the fire was related to ongoing protests arose after authorities in a series of tweets about the blaze wrote about “unacceptable abuses committed on the margins of a concert.”
A concert for Congolese singer Fally Ipupa was scheduled for later Friday at the nearby Accorhotels Arena. The fire started on the sidelines of the concert, according to AFP. Police had reportedly banned protests near the hotel around the time of the concert. A previous Ipupa concert was canceled in 2017 following public safety concerns, according to The Telegraph.
Police intervened to stop protestors who had lit garbage bins and scooters ablaze, which released the thick smoke seen across social media Friday.
Footage posted to social media showed scooters and other parts of the train station on fire.
In another tweet, police shared a video of protestors attempting to prevent firefighters from accessing the blaze.
— Préfecture de Police (@prefpolice) February 28, 2020
Rohit Singh told Insider he was in the station when he smelled smoke and noticed people running for the exits. He said because the station is so large, the section of the station he was in did not catch fire, but he saw the blaze after he left the station.
Manifestation aux abords de la gare de Lyon… pic.twitter.com/Zm3kWDoNQk
— berenger cernon (@slappy_w) February 28, 2020
Singh said he did not see anyone injured, but said he saw a fireman breaking the glass on the building to enter in what he said he thought was an attempt to rescue someone on the inside of the station.
A massive fire at Paris Gare de Lyon Train Station. What's happening to 2020? 🙁 pic.twitter.com/5hmechHSJN
— Chinmay Sanghi (@ChinmaySanghi) February 28, 2020
This is a developing story.